Transy Choir goes coastal

by Holly Brown
A&E Editor

For some people, winter break means putting in long days of sleeping in and other tiresome activities that tend to happen in front of electronic screens. For the Transylvania Choir, however, it meant going on its annual tour.

Though the choir had planned to tour Europe in May, by October it was clear that the current state of the economy was going to prevent many of the participating students from affording the expense of an international trip.

Instead, the group chose a domestic tour, with performances Jan. 3-6 across four venues in Georgia and Florida and then a final concert at Transy Jan. 11.

Dr. Gary Anderson, professor of music and director of choral ensembles, always coordinates tours with contacts suggested by the alumni office, and this year it recommended a cluster of alumni in Florida.

The Transylvania Choir toured Florida and Georgia during the last week of winter break. They performed in four venues, but still had time left over for some fun activities.

“That turned out to be not only a great deal of fun for us, frankly, because we went to Fort Myers, Fla.,” said Anderson, “but we connected with a lot of alumni, which made it, as a university tour, really worthwhile, too.”

Though Anderson had chosen the concert’s repertoire last summer with a European audience in mind, the same selections worked well for a domestic tour. The concert included several pieces by European composers, followed by a few songs from Transy Boys a Cappella (TBA), and ended with a section of American folk songs and spirituals.

The tour is undoubtedly an enjoyable experience for the choir, but Anderson also emphasized its role in promoting the university. Each of the concerts was attended by alumni, and many high school students were introduced to Transy through the concerts, as well.

“For me one of the best experiences was singing at the high school in Brandon, Fla., because the students were so excited to host us,” said sophomore choir member Rachel Norris. “After the concert, several students came up to me and said that they would now be looking at Transy as a possible school.”

“It turned out to be a terrific, terrific tour, even though we put it together really quickly. We connected to alumni, we connected to students. … Our folks had a ball,” Anderson said.

This year’s tour follows a long-standing tradition for the Transy Choir; with the exception of a single year, the choir has made an annual tour since the 1940s.

While Anderson has yet to determine when the choir will next plan a tour to Europe, he expects to reach a decision on the issue at some point this May term.

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